Every edition of Wochi Kochi covers a special topic. Each and every day, people throughout the world are acting as intermediaries, or bridges, between Japan and the world. Feature stories bring you anecdotes and observations direct from artists, writers, and researchers working at various spots on the globe. Expect a broad range of stories, from descriptions of life on the city streets to profiles of people encountered when working on projects.
[Special Feature 078] Goenawan Mohamad is a leading Indonesian intellectual who has long played a leadership role in the country's democratization movement. He published the weekly news magazine Tempo and worked as a spirited journalist who emphasized the importance of liberty and democracy. After retiring from the front line, he is still engaged in literary activities such as essays, poems, plays, novels, and paintings. The world has since listened to his insightful words on freedom of expression, religion and culture, and ethnic identity.
[Special Feature 076] KOM_I is an artist active in a plethora of fields and communities. In addition to her genre-bending creative endeavors, she also studies world music and folk arts, and frequently interacts with immigrants living in Japan. We interviewed KOM_I on what inner diversity means to her, and what she values in her relationships with others.
[Special Feature 077] Recent years have seen an increasing number of television programs that urge people to evacuate using simple phrases such as "Escape to somewhere high." "Yasashii Nihongo" or plain and caring Japanese has been attracting attention as the language that is easy to understand for native and non-native speakers alike, and it also plays an important role in efforts to promote tabunka kyosei or intercultural cohesion. What are the possibilities and challenges of plain Japanese?
[Special Feature 075] In recent years, Vietnam has seen a rapid increase in the number of people learning Japanese. According to the Japan Foundation's Survey on Japanese-Language Education Abroad 2018, Vietnam has the world's sixth largest number of Japanese language learners.
[Special Feature 075] The second installment of the award-winners' interview for the special feature "The 48th Japan Foundation Awards―Linking the World through Culture amid the COVID-19 Pandemic" (for more on special features, click here) is with shō*¹ performer Miyata Mayumi.
[Special Feature 073] In this eighth issue of our special feature, "Crossing Borders, Engaging in Exchanges and Harnessing the Power of Creation amid COVID-19" , we welcome Sputniko!,
[Special Feature 073] In this fourth issue of our special feature "Crossing Borders, Engaging in Exchanges and Harnessing the Power of Creation amid COVID-19", we welcome film director Yukisada Isao.
[Special Feature 073] In this second issue of our special feature "Crossing Borders, Engaging in Exchanges and Harnessing the Power of Creation amid COVID-19" , we welcome Ogawa Nozomu,
[072: Japan 2019: Japanese art blossoming in the United States] As I once said to a group of Japanese theater scholars: "I am not a specialist in Japanese theater, but my daughter was born on the day Ohno Kazuo, the cofounder of Butō, performed at Asia Society." My lighthearted but true statement revealed something deeper about cultural affiliation. In the sweltering heat of the summer of 1988, while holding my newborn daughter, Sophia, I was well aware that another drama of life was happening at that same moment just around the corner from Lenox Hill hospital.
Nineteen years have passed since a Korean student and one other person lost their lives trying to rescue a Japanese citizen who had fallen onto the tracks at JR Shin-Okubo Station in Tokyo in 2001. Since 2002, the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai has been honoring the spirit of Lee Soo Hyun by inviting Korean high school students, who will lead future Japan-Korea exchanges, for training every year in Japan.